Wednesday 17 January 2018

Now is a good time to improve study skills and form a routine

It's important to improve study skills and also establish a routine. Photo: Getty Images.
It's important to improve study skills and also establish a routine. Photo: Getty Images.

Aoife Walsh

It is a busy time of the year for Leaving Certificate students, but also a good time to stop and reflect on all that has been achieved so far this year and what is left to do.

Students may feel they are constantly preparing for the next deadline, but it is important to recognise what has been accomplished. This will help reassure students that they are progressing and it can be a useful tool in stress reduction.

Once mock exams are returned, students may wish to consider spending some time going through the paper in detail.

Consider areas of achievement as well as areas which may require more work. Then consider why some areas were weaker than others. Perhaps there was not sufficient time to revise that topic yet? Were there mistakes made with timing? Or perhaps the students feel they had learned the topic but did not use enough detail.

By taking time to answer these questions students can make more informed decisions about their study and make the best use of the time they have left. If a student is disappointed with their mock results they must try to remind themselves that mocks are intended to help them learn from their mistakes. It is impossible to change what has passed and therefore pointless worrying that not enough was done.

Students should try to remember that every time they study they are learning something that could be an extra five points in their results. Every little counts and there is enough time left to learn and improve.

If a student feels that their revision technique has let them down, they could try making small changes. Students often ask guidance counsellors how they can become more motivated to study. Unfortunately there is no magic solution to this and it is true that perhaps you may never be motivated to study as it is not an enjoyable task for anyone. Therefore, forming a good habit of study, where the practice becomes routine, may be more useful than waiting for inspiration to strike.

Students may also wish to consider what they are actually spending their time at during study sessions. Are they reading or marking notes? Or, are they testing themselves and setting themselves time challenges, such as: 'I have 20 minutes to learn the following five points.' Study should be as active as possible.

Finally, students should keep track of what they have revised and what is left to do. It can be very motivating to see that course work is being completed as sometimes it feels like we are spending all our time studying and not getting any further towards our goals.

There is no completely right or wrong way to study, but it is always helpful to be aware of what works for an individual, to try new things and always try to improve by keeping what is working and letting go of what is not.

Important Dates this week


Gurteen Agricultural College Open Day

Templemore College of FE Open Day

UCD Agri, Food, Nutrition, Non-standard entry and progression workshop.


Ballyhaise Agricultural College Open Day

Horticulture – The Botanic Gardens Open Day

March 22

Gaiety School of Acting Open Day

GAMSAT Testing Day| Mater Dei Testing Day

March 24

Ballyfermot College of FE Open for applications

UCAS Application deadline (selected courses)

March 25

Trainee Jockey Open Day Racing Academy Centre for Education (RACE) Dublin Road, Co Kildare.

Aoife Walsh is a guidance counsellor at Malahide Community School, Co. Dublin.

Irish Independent

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